Going on being in this strange world

“We will live in this world, which for us has all the disquieting strangeness of the desert and of the simulacrum, with all the veracity of living phantoms, of wandering and simulating animals that capital, that the death of capital has made of us—because the desert of cities is equal to the desert of sand—the jungle of signs is equal to that of the forests—the vertigo of simulacra is equal to that of nature—only the vertiginous seduction of a dying system remains, in which work buries work, in which value buries value—leaving a virgin, sacred space without pathways, continuous as Bataille wished it, where only the wind lifts the sand, where only the wind watches over the sand.”
― Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation

The very same tools we had designed to be more effective together have excluded us, humans. Not so long ago, we were led to believe that the more tools we could use, the more control we would have on our lives – the more we could be. Now comes the bitter realisation that we have been trumped by our own creatures: it is rather those tools that have us, consider us as pieces at most.

Never in history have we been provided with so many tools and possibilities to communicate, to express ourselves and reach out to others. But at the same time we discover in our own hands a power we never had before, an insidious and unexpected sense of powerlessness comes to overwhelm us. On-equipped social beings, we are left uncapable to change the course of a world that has acquired, in the meantime, an existence of its own. And, as we see rising in front of us a boiling mass of data, signs and identities that threaten to submerge everything, we find ourselves disarmed, uncertain.

Ashby told us so: “no man knows what to do against the purely new”. If we do not want to drown in this ocean we have engendered, we can only rely on that part within us that refuses to be shared and communicated. When everything will be copied and hacked, it will take an individual to have the courage to remain one, unique and singular. In this endeavour, our last chance might be to reclaim our unutterable individuality in order not to be played anymore – and be able to play together anew.

Though there can’t be any certainty here – every answer will lead to other questions – we have faith that playing will allow us to invent new games with new rules, and that we will let emerge new forms of togetherness to shape a new reality.

So that we can go on being.


Filed under Complexity, Nodes, Purpose, Systems

5 responses to “Going on being in this strange world

  1. Ed orange

    If I did not have complexity I would get bored, but I completely agree I worry this is all a form of homogenising our world so we end up conforming with no new creativity.

  2. rahulandrews

    But surely like maxwell’s demon who reduces information entropy without permission, we will be tempted to respond likewise..

  3. Dan

    You said that you were worried that nobody would understand your post. Though I don’t understand it at all, I am sure that it is just me!

    • Dan, to be honest i am not sure i get much of it either, but what can you do?
      “Everyone, he went on, speaks a language he does not understand, but which now and then is understood by others. That is enough to permit one to exist and at least to be misunderstood.”
      Thomas Bernhard, Gargoyles

  4. You’re very much talking about communication tools. For that field of tools, you consider being able to choose what we communicate is key to avoid a personal dilution into the system.

    But that’s true for any tool. Tools have to be considered as defined use enhancers or facilitators. They certainly have to be built for uses, not for users. In other words, we are not defined by the tools we use, but our uses are.

    My understanding of your point of view, is that we have to be and remain designers of our uses and needs, and strongly choose the part of us we connect with tools, keeping in mind the goal of this connection, and also being agile enough to kill that connection at any time.

    We are human, stronger than any tool or tools combination, responsible for our own definition, including needs and wills, and that makes us unique and free to innovate. We are neither defined as users nor as innovations forced clients.

    Design must remain on will and needs side, not on the solutions one.

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